What started with lifetime memberships ended in bankruptcy after Nevada training facility Front Sight declared bankruptcy in May 2022.
Now the famed site may get a chance at new life under new leadership as PrairieFire steps in.
PrairieFire is set to acquire Front Sight in a potential $24 million deal pending bankruptcy process and confirmation, according to court documents filed in Nevada.
In an exclusive interview with PrairieFire’s CEO Bill Wilson, Pew Pew Tactical got all the information on PrairieFire’s business, potential plans for Front Sight, and what current Front Sight members can expect moving forward.
Update: The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada confirmed the reorganization plan put forth by PrairieFire. More info down below.
Table of Contents
Front Sight: Lifetime Memberships & Bankruptcy
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Ignatius Piazza, a California Chiropractor, Front Sight was made famous by claims of lifetime memberships that included unlimited training.
Nestled in Pahrump, Nevada, on 550 acres of land, it boasted range facilities and hosted a variety of gun courses. But it wasn’t without controversy.
Front Sight and Piazza were embroiled in lawsuits in 2007 and 2018 over their business practices. The latest of which left the company in dire financial straits.
This came after promises of a multi-million-dollar expansion remained unfulfilled years after investors and members had been guaranteed a resort and other amenities.
In January 2022, a letter was sent to Front Sight members announcing a complete restructuring of the business. This plan included new fees and a loss of several membership perks. Infuriated, members lashed out against Piazza, even creating a Facebook group to collect complaints about the site and its founder.
Ultimately, Front Sight filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2022.
That’s where PrairieFire came in.
Who is PrairieFire?
Promising a completely overhauled take on training and membership, PrairieFire is, in essence, a training facility; but it’s not your average, run-of-the-mill range.
At the helm of PrairieFire is Bill Wilson, a former Navy SEAL who served as Platoon Commander at SEAL Teams One and Three. (It’s worth mentioning that, though they share a name, PrairieFire’s Wilson is not the same Bill Wilson that heads Wilson Combat.)
Under Wilson’s leadership, PrairieFire aims to revolutionize how people train by combining tactics from military, law enforcement, and the competition sectors.
“What Jeff Cooper did in the 60s and 70s was revolutionize the way people train. We want to be the second wave of that,” Wilson emphasized.
Wilson said that’s achieved through a three-pronged approach that balances training with a cadre of elite instructors adept at teaching to all skill levels, championships that offer an incentive for training, and fun experiences that leave people with a smile on their faces.
At its core, PrairieFire seeks to balance fun with quality training in a welcoming environment.
“The underlying philosophy for us is that we celebrate firearms ownership. It’s something that should be celebrated. It’s not something that should be hidden in the shadows. We think gun ownership should be balanced by the responsibility to use it safely and proficiently. We’re here to do that in a safe and welcoming way.”
PrairieFire is already hosting events around the U.S., with the biggest set for October 28, 2022. The winner will take home a $100,000 prize; next year, that jackpot goes up to $1 million.
It doesn’t stop there. The company launched a patent-pending RANK scoring system.
This newly developed system allows users to download a target, take it to the range, shoot two courses of fire at set yardage, and then upload their target for review. A mathematical score will be assigned, and shooters can see how they rank among other shooters.
“There’s no paywall. You shoot a target from a prescribed distance and get immediate feedback,” Wilson said. “We think this is going to be the catalyst for getting more people involved in shooting.”
An app is in development and will launch by the end of 2022.
PrairieFire’s Plans for Front Sight
The most obvious question is, what does PrairieFire intend to do with Front Sight and its facility?
Wilson said pending confirmation from the bankruptcy court, the company envisions a place for training, experiences, and competition for all outdoor enthusiasts under the new name, PrairieFire Center.
“We are going to invest millions in this property and turn it into the world’s preeminent destination for training competitions and experiences,” Wilson explained. “We’re assembling an extraordinary team, and our goal is to build out Front Sight. It’s a big, beautiful, blank canvas, and we want to take that to the next level.”
Though an RV resort and other amenities are in the works for the future, in the meantime, PrairieFire will use the existing areas of the Front Sight facility to host classes and events.
Wilson said Front Sight’s current three areas will fulfill different needs of various membership levels.
Members can expect to see ranges devoted to recreational shooting, private instruction, hardcore training, competition shooting, fun experiences, and precision long-range shooting.
“We want as many people as we can bring into this industry. We want to provide them with something fun, something satisfying and continue to grow the sport. It’s vitally important.”
As for Piazza, the polarizing figure at the head of Front Sight, Wilson assured Pew Pew Tactical that Piazza would not have anything to do with the strategy or management of PrairieFire.
“Unequivocally, Dr. Piazza has no future employment in my company, period. He will not work at PrairieFire,” Wilson explained.
“This is a transaction. [Dr. Piazza] is not involved in any business making decisions or management. He will not have, nor will he ever have, any ownership or equity stake in the business. We’re completely independent from him,” Wilson said.
PrairieFire already has a team dedicated to turning the tides, including some notable names like World Champion Todd Jarrett and Olympian Lanny Barnes.
“If you look at our team, it’s an incredible team of people that really brings something to the table,” Wilson said. “It’s just an extraordinary team. I say this very humbly; I don’t think there’s a team with that level of experiencing gravitas and diversity.”
As part of its revamp and pending approval, PrairieFire would introduce a four-tier membership plan.
At the base level sits the Frontier Plan. At $200 annually (plus a one-time $200 initiation fee), members gain unlimited access to two Frontier ranges as well as various discounts and 10% off the Pro Shop.
Resting above Frontier is the Nevada membership. Priced with a one-time $1,000 initiation fee and $1,000 annual membership fee, this tier offers full access to all PrairieFire Nevada ranges, courses, and experiences. This includes sniper ranges, helicopter shooting experiences, an invitation to the Monster Mash tournaments, and general admission to PrairieFire competitions. Like the Frontier Plan, the Nevada plan also comes with some discounts, including 10% off at the Pro Shop.
The next tier sees the National Plan, which grants access to shooting experiences at both PrairieFire locations in Nevada and Texas (and other future facilities). This level gets members full access to all Nevada ranges, courses, and experiences and includes events like the sniper range, helicopter shooting, and Monster Mash tournaments. It also includes access to Leadership Council events and a 20% Pro Shop discount. There is a one-time initiation fee of $5,000 with an annual membership of $2,000.
The Founder’s Club is the final tier and requires a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 and an annual membership fee of $5,000. Under this tier, members get exclusive access to all PrairieFire ranges, courses, and experiences in Nevada and Texas. This also includes special experiences included in the previous tiers. National Plan members gain access to the Leadership Council and invitations to private dinners, competitions, and events. Founder’s Club access (with lockers and a private cigar lounge), airport drop-off/pickup, and gunsmithing are also included. Discounts come with this membership level, including 20% off at the Pro Shop.
What Happens to Current Front Sight Members?
If approved through the bankruptcy process, current Front Sight members would become PrairieFire Frontier members automatically for two years at no cost. This includes access to unlimited shooting on two dedicated ranges on site with basic instruction.
If Front Sight members like what they see and convert to a paying plan before the two years are up, PrairieFire will waive the initiation fee at all membership levels.
Additionally, each Front Sight member will gain one free day of Q Academy training at PrairieFire for themselves and a guest.
For Front Sight members who opt for a Nevada tier or higher, a 50% discount on annual membership and daily fees for 2023 and 2024 will also be included.
Founder’s Club will be an invitation-only membership extended to Front Sight members who have spent at least $15,000 at Front Sight on memberships and upgrades. There will only be 500 spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with PrairieFire reaching out to those members directly.
“The theme is don’t leave anyone behind. If you’re a Front Sight member, give us an opportunity to earn your business,” Wilson said. “We’re going to earn your trust and confidence.”
Wilson said PrairieFire has plans to ensure a smooth transition and a successful business model.
“We have an all-star lineup from the training perspective and the business team. We plan on bringing a lot of innovation with business expertise here and invest millions of dollars to enhance the current Front Sight facilities.”
“Don’t judge us by what we say; judge us by what we do. Just give us a chance. Come out and see if there’s a membership that fits you.”
Bankruptcy Court Confirms PrairieFire’s Acquisition
After awaiting its fate in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, PrairieFire announced on Nov. 21, 2022, that the company had received confirmation of its reorganization plan from the Court and will acquire 100% of the equity of Front Sight Management, Inc.
The final order is expected to be handed down in December, at which point PrairieFire will take over operations and change the Front Sight name to PrairieFire Nevada.
According to a press release, PrairieFire’s sister company, Stagecoach Outpost, LLC., will lead the development of the 550 acres that makes up Front Sight.
“Stagecoach Outpost plans to invest heavily in the location’s real estate, lodging and hospitality assets. This site provides the ideal location to develop an authentic community that embodies the spirit of the American frontier,” Chief Executive Officer of Stagecoach Outpost Todd Reid said in a statement.
“Our vision is to establish Stagecoach Outpost as the American community for those who want a bold, adventure-seeking lifestyle. It’s a place to live the frontier spirit that resides in many Americans.”
Article Updated: Nov. 21, 2022, at 11:20 a.m. EST
What do you think of the acquisition? Let us know in the comments below. For more industry news, check out our News category.
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I am uplifted by Prariefires acquisition of frontsight. My background is I am a 70 yr old physician still working full time in Pennsylvania and a dedicated shooting enthusiast. Over the last ten years I attended 220 hours of frontsight course training, which included the four day defensive handgun course 4 times . I had good and negative experiences taking the courses. I will share my thoughts on the past and future hopefully helping you achieve your goals. 1) the Nevada location worked great for 1/3 of the USA population but as I was often the participant traveling the farthest attending a course it was clear to me that a very large population in the eastern USA was having difficulty accessing the frontsight training.. I even looked into developing a frontsight type experience since approx 50,000,000 live within an 8 hour drive of northern WV , a very gun friendly state. It obviously did not coalesce into a business. My point is the people in the east and midwest desperately need firearms training. Please Consider at least letting those lifetime members of frontsight to join the Texas prariefire site/campus not the Nevada. I graduated for UTMSH, trained with “Red Duke” and love TX. More importantly it is drivable or within one flight of most of the eastern USA. The Biggest hit for prariefire would be to have a Florida campus-think pro gun state, Gov DeSantis, year round shooting weather and most of the ENTIRE USA With a no connecting flight to Orlando etc. The negatives of frontsight are legendary and I am sure you have heard them all so I won’t elaborate. I truly wish you fabulous success in this Endeavor. Bob Schmidt
I am glad to see this change that brings more clarity and no more constant classification changes.
I'm sorry that Front Sight bit the dust. The concept sounded great. As the levels of membership increased, I paid the fees; until I reached President. Then Piazza was dunning for $$$ (Big Bucks) to join his "exclusive" club. My wife warned me that FS sounded like a Ponzio Scheme, and I stopped pouring hard earned money down the drain. Then came the entreaties to bail out FS because Piazza gave $$$ to his conman buddy.
My computer ate itself and I never received any information on the BK filing.
I wonder if I will be allowed to shoot, for enjoyment, at Front Sight, or whatever the name is, now? At 74 years young, I beyond caring that I will have a "limited membership."
Good luck with your new firearms training center. I will not be there. I’m disappointed with the new membership fees. Please do not send me an email reply or sell my email to anyone.
I, for one, never saw the FS business model as sustainable. I did become a member, did take some classes, and was impressed by the quality of instruction for newcomers to firearms. It was a laudable goal to educate as many people as possible. (I did not find the advanced courses as good as Gunsite, but that does not detract from FS's value of training the untrained.) It's unclear to me what the final PF offering will be, and maybe it's unclear to them as well. That said, I wish them well. We need more high quality training facilities, and there are still a couple of million Californians that could benefit from training. I also would note that the FS facilities would be perfect for USPSA National Championships or an IPSC World Shoot.
I joined in 2009 through a unique process which amounted to a personal transaction with IP. Since then, I upgraded more times than I recall and gifted memberships to others. I attended several classes in that time, which redefined my skill with firearms. For that, I am grateful.
However, my appreciation of the quality of training required me to hold my nose at the truly cringeworthy marketing and political bloviating. Then, there were all the emails telling me to hate the legal enemies of FS, because they were MY enemies--and to show my hate by shoveling money into FS. Promises, promises to keep promises, and BAM!--all promises broken. The entire 13 year email experience was exhausting the way buying a used car is exhausting. It left one in need of a shower. But I'm grateful that the email experience never showed up at the range. It was two very different FS experiences.
I'm sure that there is much I don't understand. I'm equally sure I never will.
I'm not super stoked that my "lifetime/all access membership" has been relegated to "entry-level with fees", but I remind myself that FS broke those promises and they are not Prariefire's to keep.
I will wait to see if membership and participation in PF activities is for me. I have no interest in sport shooting or competition. I prefer pure training in the tactile sense, but I will consider all information they send my way.
Honestly, I'm glad the sh_t show of the past few years is over. Good luck.
P.S. As for the lamenting the loss of an organization that vigorously defended the 2A..., I think every bit of that image was designed to extract money from members with particular political fears.
Perfect break down Mr. Garrett I believe your words speak for me as well if that's okay with you, it's exactly how I feel. I live so far away from FS / PF Nevada, I now have to decide between PF or Thunder Ranch which is just a few hours drive for me, but expensive. Either way I'm back to entry level with fees it appears, but I've never taken training where I didn't learn something new or different regardless of how remedial. All I can do is remain humble and figure out what's best for me, but the loss of status, assets, and all that I accomplished is incredibly irritating. I sure hope PF retains FS trainers, they are good at what they do and good people.
A great summation of my experience, as well. I joined FS at about the same time you did and was a willing contributor to the "scheme" for quite a while. Obviously, we all, especially me, should have listened to our inner voice that was telling us "if it's too good to be true, ........." The hype and the hubris got Iggy. Unfortunately, he got us. as well. It sounds like Prairie Fire has a viable business plan, but time will tell. Not sure what I will do with my now worthless credits and memberships, I guess I'll print them out and put them on the wall of my reloading room to remind about being conned.
Pardon the length I anticipate for this post, but here goes. Just came back from the final 2 Day Skill Builder class to be offered by Front Sight in its 25+ year history. As always, top-notch rangemastering and instruction, great camaraderie and an added bonus cool but not windy range conditions. PrairieFire seems to be reconsidering its previous positions regarding jettisoning the curriculum in favor of a solely "sport" facility for competitors to come and treat the 2nd Amendment like its purpose was to protect golf tournaments. Some hope there expressed by the many fine instructors and staff now left potentially without a livelihood. Front Sight was never a boot camp or destination resort for the clique of competition shooters--it has been and always remained devoted to reaching the great unwashed of Americans and their families to restore the 2nd Amendment to its rightful place in the national conversation about American values and its indispensable (for freedom) uniqueness--and the first two amendments are that uniqueness. There are some signs that PrairieFire may be recognizing this--that becoming gearheads and professional players have little to nothing to do with what the vast majority of Americans hold to be the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. PF owns the curriculum--lock, stock and barrel. There are thousands of FS members out there that were willing to accept the new terms originally offered during the bankruptcy proceedings--an annual membership fee and a daily fee for courses. While this doesn't mollify the contingent of outraged hangers-on given free memberships by other hangers-on, and who never paid a dime into FS, those of us who have benefitted for years or decades from the marketing created by Dr. Piazza allowing us to become lifetime members--obviously, now, for the life of the facility--were ready to pony up a relative pittance to keep this fantastic, never-before-seen-and-never-to-be-seen-again, unique and glorious outcropping of America alive. And for our own sake, no one else's; because we recognize its value to us and our families--a 2nd Amendment remaining alive and vital despite the inroads of globalism and its paid hacks in Washington. Detractors of FS, I get it, the relative few that lost thousands in purchases of future facilities that never arrived. You paid your money and you took your chances. I get it and understand. The rest of the vocal crew, and I am certain these are the guys with little or nothing in investment and little to no actual attendance, just following along the path of least social and thought resistance--I get that, too. And in no flattering way. What Dr. Piazza attempted to do, and succeeded in doing for nearly a quarter of a century, was create a bastion of resistance to the creep of global disarmament and enslavement of peoples and nations. If you don't see eye to eye with that, fine. If you don't see the passion and vitality that had to form behind that forming purpose, or what it must have taken for one man to take on the rest of the culture in achieving that purpose--fine. Just don't look around out there for anyone or anything else, in any other fashion, that even comes close. What's left are businesses, content with paying the mortgage and the rest of the bills and managing their ranges, not filling them up with potentially thousands of Americans daily. They have never had the purpose as part of their existence of actively working to restore the diminishing brilliance of the 2nd Amendment, that necessary "Stop or I'll shoot" directed at the degrading culture. The vast majority of FS members who actually availed themselves of this fantastic opportunity to steep themselves in a true 2nd Amendment phenomenon--and that's what it was--know whereof I speak. I personally have about 10K invested in FS over 25 years. Working it out, I calculate I spent about $200--$250 a course, whether over a 2-day or 4-day period, and took home free guns and tons of inexpensive ammo as part of the marketing inducements. And the math on that return is common to thousands of FS students. I brought lots of friends into the fold and NONE of them have been other than grateful for their experience at FS, I met tons of great people and made new friends and experienced a level of professionalism you would never understand unless you personally experienced a weekend of training with over a thousand fellow enthusiasts--husbands, moms, kids--from all over the country and world. No one else ever displayed the vision, hard work, and dedication to create a facility and staff like FS. Dr. Piazza, who spent a quarter of a century pursuing that vision and pushing it to its limits. Regardless of your animosities and persuasions, this is a hard fact. Yes, in an increasingly corrupt, politicized, vulture capitalized, propagandized American culture, the obstacles apparently won out. As an aside, as both instructor (not at FS) and student (at FS) there is no more arrogant, self-obsessed, prickly-to-the-point-of-absurdity component in the US than its gun culture. Everyone's a legend in their own mind. Experts and cults abound, fractured into prideful little groups extolling this technique, this guru, this podcast or YouTube maestro. The American gun culture pays its NRA dues and then goes back to sleep. And those who are awake, most of these "experts" running down the FS experience and curriculum never took a class themselves, never put it all on the line in front of the rest of the class in a Skills Test (and thereby discover their middling actual ability to shoot) but couldn't deride the Weaver stance enough as "ancient", "passe" in favor of God's gift of the Isosceles despite the fact that they would get rings shot around them by practically every student on the line with their support side elbow bent--if, of course, they ever showed up to take a class and not rely on "some trusted" friend who DID come to a class and subsequently ran it down. (As an aside, if they did come, I never saw a single "isosceles" proponent there, so at best--they quietly converted.) I wish PF the best--I hope they have the business acumen to recognize the incredible resource they have in owning that FS student list, and in understanding that it will be useless to them on the membership fee schedule above and likely planned daily fees. PF has a tough act to follow, and I don't know if they can figure it out. But the FS student is used to the most professional handling from arrival at the gate through 4 days of instruction with their every possible need anticipated and provided for--and at no cost, most of them, because they were given a membership. We would all pay a reasonable annual and daily fee schedule--but nothing as relatively exorbitant as I see published here. And that same level of professionalism and facility-wide care would be needed--or the student reviews would be scathing. I don't know if PF is up to the challenge. But I certainly wish them well. And I extend the heartfelt thanks of a quarter century of some of the most enjoyable times of my life to all those hundreds of FS staff, from rangemasters and instructors to administrative and maintenance personnel for all these good days. I thank Dr. Piazza for all he accomplished and all he tried to get done but was unable to complete. To all my fellow FS members--the times call for Condition Yellow more than ever.
Did your outfit come with the big nose, rainbow wig, and the floppy shoes, or did you buy them separate? Not only is it a long paragraph, but it’s a boot licking symphony of butt kissing. Your pious drivel is obscene at best toward those who truly can see this scheme for what it is…. A way for Piazza to bilk hard working people out of hard earned money. To even infer that he has walked away a broken man with his dreams crushed is the height of arrogance. Your grifting is pathetic, and quite frankly, insulting to those who can see this for what it is… a man who screwed over thousands of people, all the way to the bank and hides behind corporate veils to continue to siphon off money from unsuspecting people just wanting to better their skills or prepare for a promised activity later in life that they invested in.
Stop trying to paint Piazza as a victim. He is in fact the perpetrator of a con. His narcissism has taken a model that could have survived successfully if he hadn’t siphoned off $41m and driven it into a ditch, purposefully. He has lied time and time again as is apparent in his other lawsuits. This is not a second amendment savior we are talking about here. This is someone who wrapped himself in the flag of patriotism in order to dupe people.
I can see you play similar games…
Front Sight the phenomenon of a training facility and Ignatius Piazza its creator are two different things entirely. Yes, a long post and in today's attention span limits, a gross violation. I don't know if you're one of those outsider critics or a former student who lost money on an investment or someone with a huge part or stake in your own lawsuit. The game I play is the game I've played, not one I haven't but pretend to be an "expert" on. For myself and thousands like me, we benefitted. We didn't fail to benefit because of the bankruptcy. If you did (because you're an actual former student), and those others who did, I get the outrage. You played a different game. The business model failed, but no other organization put more trained Americans into homes than Front Sight did, and did it in a more skilled and professional fashion. And that's as true about the organization as whatever else is true about the business model or the founder. When I hear you or other critics recognize that truth, there'll be balance in the fury and outrage.
Amen! To all of what you said!!
I am a life member of front sight.
I knew nothing about the bankruptcy that took place during this calendar year and had not received anything from Dr Ignatius Piazza and the organization for most of this year and I've been busy and I'm able to check up until now.
My brother Charles had forwarded your notification of which he received and I couldn't understand why I never received anything being a member I should have been receiving notices all along unfortunately I never received anything and my brother who was never a founder and then member has been receiving information this last few weeks.
I would like the new owner and CEO Mr Wilson to feel free to give me a call at any time my phone number is 813-494-3692
I am in shock right now as I was not aware that this was all taking place and my founding lifetime membership is worthless now.
I am same life time 22 year founding member-gold with $20,000 invested in frontsight and my account shows 0 assets. Not sure if I am understanding this correctly.
If you review the legal filing of praire fire it showes the IP will be a consultant and net 7miliion for his trouble. He also retained ownership of the many NFA weapons that Frontsight owned.
Can you provide a link to this?
I'm a (was) a member at FrontSight. Joined in 2011 and worked my way up to President 3. I have not received anything from anyone that explains what happened or what my future options are. I think that is something that should happen. I know what happened but not why. I hope someone that actually knows would share. Also I look forward to understanding my future options with the PrairieFire group.
I think this sounds great. I look forward to training with you!
I have taken almost all my grandkids thru the defensive handgun class and always enjoyed ourselves!
Why did Front Sight go into bankruptcy? It was because of a thug that lied on funding promises for completion of the site's construction.
What I dont understand is that if this was just fraud, then why wasnt FS able to show that in court and get compensated for the fraud? If it was just fraud, the money should have been recoverable. Invested tens of thousands. Now I have lost it in this bankruptcy.
I'd really like to know the answer to this also... where are all the replies posted to these questions?
It was because Piazza siphoned $41m off over the years to shell corporations and trusts…
I've never been able to consider travelling for SD training. Hell, I can't even afford local rates for a 2 hour class and feed my family the same night. Making do with a mag or two of whatever .22 I can find cheapest and a couple printed off targets in the woods every 3-4 months. The local PD used to do a pistol workshop twice a year, but their funding got cut after the past couple of years so they don't do that anymore. Wish everyone involved the best, at least somebody's making money nowadays.
I really enjoyed my time at FS. It was a great father/Son time. Still have the shotgun that was given away after donating money to build the hotel. This is a new chapter. I’m interested in going and finding out what PF is all about. Having retired from Law Enforcement and the Military, I had the opportunity to train at all levels. Don’t discount these instructors. Most will teach real life combat shooting. I also did competitions. Learning from a strictly competition shooter offered great insights. Yes, I lost out also. But let’s see what’s around corner. Hopefully they won’t email and call me everyday like FS.
So am I to understand that courses will not be available to frontier members, and the courses will require a 250 per day fee?? Also I might want to remind Prairie Fire that the r o only sucks and very few people will be ponying up 1k just to come to the desert to shoot. I was fine with the 100/day fee even though that was not what was promised in the beginning but 250 to 500 PER DAY?? Well it was fun while it lasted good luck PF.
Are they going to contact current members with the breakdown of new offerings
To Front Sight's management.. My family was gifted a package of memberships. I personally have been to the four day handgun training three times. It's been an incredible experience ! I had a CCW for 4 years, and never carried. I didn't feel I knew my weapon well enough to carry and not have it taken from me by an attacker. As a result of the exemplary training I received, I no longer feel that way. I am definitely capable of protecting myself and my family. Thank you!
To Prarie Fire's Management ... Though I'm sure you have the best of intentions, your plan misses the mark. The participants in Front Sight are generally NOT interested in military/police type training and/or competitions. The appeal of Front Sight was the family element, I went with my husband and son the first time, and by myself the other two times I've been. As a woman, I was never treated as inferior or incapable. I certainly would never sign up for anything remotely resembling a boot camp type atmosphere. Though my skills have increased ten fold, I have less than ZERO interest in participating in competitions. I'd like to be able to come back, as many time as I need to, and take the same confidence and skill building classes that have improved me to this point. If I wanted a more military or police type of training, I would have just joined the military or police department. Please understand your demographic. If you want to do something for the Front Sight members, offer the types of classes that drew us there to begin with. Add whatever you'd like as options, but DON'T take away the basics we LOVE! I'd also like to say, if you're going to charge exorbitant amounts for memberships and classes, I'll be foregoing your training, practice shooting in the desert near my home, and spending that money on a trip to Europe instead.
I'm with you. I'm a 78 year old Vietnam vet, not a cop or a soldier wannabe. I'm not interested in competitions either.
My family comes to Front Sight once a year to maintain our defensive handgun skills at the Four Day Handgun Course.
Giving us two ranges to play on is pointless. I don't have to drive 1600 miles to find a gun range. What I'm interested in is the Four Day Defensive Handgun course and some of the other basic courses.
If you want my business you'll keep the basic courses for rifle, pistol and shotgun. That should be the basis of your business plan.
I first heard of and subsequently joined FS circa 2012 and have subsequently given several thousand dollars into it. Ironically I have never been to FS! Either time, health or finances got in the way. I donated because I believed in what Ignatius Piazza was trying to do. I gifted our daughter, son-in-law, wife and granddaughter with diamond memberships. We live in Flagstaff, AZ. The daughter and son-in-law went twice and had a blast. They took the 4 day defensive pistol course and the CCW course. They brought home a book for me by Brad Ackman, one of the FS employees, titled Five Years in the Trenches at FS". It will give a lot of insight into what was trying to be done. The book is available on E-Bay for 5 or 10 dollars. However we don't have a justification for spending a fair sum of money, even at the lowest level, to getting and maintaining a membership in PF. We have an indoor range 2 miles from our house, a dedicated shooting area a mile from our house, and "The Pit" 10 miles away where you can shoot a 50 BMG and nobody complains. We're going to the shooting area this Friday. My wife belongs to The Well-Armed Woman and needs to practice her stoppage drills! I wish the best for PF and hope the "resort" comes to be. Get Brad Akmans book.
A term sheet was just released to the public and Mr. Piazza will receive no less than $700,000 a year for no less than 10 years from the new organization as a consultant after he ruined the current club. Very false for them to say the previous owner is not involved and then are going to pay him $7,000,000 over a ten year period. My friends and family and I will steer clear of this organization as the ink hasn’t even settled and they didn’t even have the veracity to mention this arrangement.
A “consulting agreement” does not mean Dr. Piazza will be part of our operation at PrairieFire. We understand Dr. Piazza is a controversial figure in the 2A community. The key terms of the consulting term sheet are the restrictive covenants, including Dr. Piazza’s agreement not to compete with or disparage PrairieFire, and to refrain from discussing PrairieFire's business. If you have any more questions, please reach out directly to the email listed on our website. Thank you.
Sorry.. Nice try. PF Rank ya'll just squandered any potential good will by not being transparent and Up Front about your continued association with IP as a paid consultant. Bad start. I imagine most Lifetime FS members are not happy campers.
The fact that the leadership of Prairie Fire outright lied to the firearms community about the relationship with Piazza is enough for them to go under. Most intelligent people will steer clear of any events sponsored by this group of liars.
The article states that Piazza has no future employment role with PrairieFire; however it as just released in court documents that Piazza will be paid $700,000/year for 10 years ($7M) plus an additional $1M for fighting lawsuits. Good way for PF to start by lying to the readers. This deal is tainted!
A “consulting agreement” does not mean Dr. Piazza will be part of our operation at PrairieFire. We understand Dr. Piazza is a controversial figure in the 2A community. The key terms of the consulting term sheet are the restrictive covenants, including Dr. Piazza’s agreement not to compete with or disparage PrairieFire, and to refrain from discussing PrairieFire's business. If you have any more questions, please reach out directly to the email listed on our website. Thank you.
If I am losing my lifetime membership then I want a full refund of the $10,000 I paid for my lifetime family membership (my husband and myself)
So our family membership in Front Sight is like Confederate dollars, now. The new regime is going to offer crumbs. Am I suppose to pay more and hope that the rip offs don't continue? The management has to take into consideration the expense members go thorough not just in fees but is travel and lodging. We only attended one class and it was top notch. I regret not taking more classes at this may have been our last opportunity. Usually, I am a much more careful shopper.
For those who would have to fly in and stay at a hotel, adding the annual fees removes all incentive to choose the new facility over Gunsite; it makes the Gunsite cost much more competitive, since the travel arrangements preclude more than one class a year anyway. Perhaps some creative course scheduling might make this more attractive, since Gunsite's Monday class start date is difficult for those who work on Sundays, but otherwise I'll just opt for Gunsite going forward.
What does praise fire plan on doing with the members that were banned by Mr. Piazza, banned for no reason and explanation. I am one of those. I have been trying over and over to get reinstated by frontsight and my emails are ignored. My husband is still a member.
Hello Staff at Pew Pew!
I have been a lifetime Front Sight member for about 12 years. I have taken my family and many friends to Front Sight over the years. We got exceptional training there, that was more complete and beneficial then my military, law enforcement and any other firearms training I have had, ever. However, When Dr. Piazza got into financial trouble, members like myself fell victims to his schemes to help him recover from his financial debt. I'm about to loose all my Front Sight assets and memberships that I have been able to sell or pass on to family and friends. In addition, my all inclusive lifetime membership will crumble and disappear almost as soon as the owner and management take over Front Sight. What also concerns me, are the multiple Front Sight staff and instructors who will likely be unemployed. What a shame. Myself, and all the Front Sight members who have supported Dr. Piazza with multiple membership upgrades and donations for the good of Front Sight should get at least partial refunds and an apology letter thanking us for our support over the years. In closing, I don't think Dr, Piazza meant to take advantage of us, but when I hit the wrong button about six months ago to accept a monthly administrative membership fee, the staff at Front Sight would not reverse the credit card charge, and Dr. Piazza would not answer my emails to reinstate my email account that keeps members informed and announces Front Sight deals. To say the least, this was the ultimate disrespect and plain old bad business. Thanks for listening. Please pass this on to Dr. Piazza and the staff at PrairieFire.
Piazza is as much of a "doctor" as Jill Biden.
Pretty harsh Geoff, but true.
For those of us had basic Front Sight memberships--not those of us who spent huge amounts of money on upgrade after upgrade--we'll never see that quality of training, facility and great times again for the average daily cost, not in anything like I see outlined here by PrairieFire, which seems to be going in the direction of sport shooting, competition and events and away from the basics of self-defense and its roots in the world of serious training. With somewhere around a 10K investment in memberships and upgrades, and factoring in all the courses I took over many years, my average cost per course whether two days or four days was around $200. With a boatload of premium ammo and a couple of firearms to boot at no or next to no cost. All the armchair naysayers and Isosceles lovers aside (most of whom never came to FS and never stood up tall under time pressure in front of turning targets for a 4 day skills test in any of the disciplines and find out that "ball don't lie"), the instruction and curriculum was always outstanding. The average FS instructor has always been a decent, friendly, dedicated person who could shoot damned well, and did, in front of the class on opening day and afterwards for all techniques and exercises, for all to see. How many instructors in how many schools stand up and demonstrate themselves what they're teaching and run the risk of a poor performance with forty students watching? Wishing PF well, if they're the successor organization, but whatever good will he lost to that small, vocal crowd over marketing, Piazza delivered in spades on the ground in training and facilities. Before anyone gets lost in his own rants against FS, imagine for yourself the kind of drive it takes from anyone in this industry to produce a weekend training 1400 students in weaponcraft. You think maybe it took what it took to accomplish that? Already PF is working on a membership basis, on its own not inconsiderable costings, and can thank FS for the incredible facility it doesn't have to figure out how to finance and build. But there are more trained American civilians out there today that can defend themselves and families than at any time in history--and that has been all FS. There's never been anything like Front Sight, and given the current suicidal political climate in this country, good luck to all including PF for us to ever see it happen again. I'll miss my multiple annual vastly more inexpensive training dates than anywhere else. And all the great instructors, staff members and friends from all the years. And to you, Dr. Piazza--it didn't work out like you intended, but it wasn't for lack of dreaming, planning and determination in the effort to build something incredible within a population of people where there are always that percentage quick to judge the small corner they can see of the big picture. Thank you for the decades of training and good times. There's some disgruntled people out there, a relative handful--and that's too bad--but the world's better for FS and your hard work.
Amen! I agree totally. It was truly a blessing to train for four days in defensive handgun classes by qualified instructors who truly love what they do. I am confident because of the foundation laid by FS and continual training that I can adequately defend myself and my family if we encounter a threat. But our first line of defense is of course, prayer. I'll be praying for Dr. Piazza, Front Sight, their staff and FS members. God bless America! Jesus is Lord! Roderick Gammon
FS provided great training and lasted as long as it did DESPITE Piazza, not BECAUSE of Piazza. He may have and the initial vision, but from there, he was just lucky to have excellent people carry that vision out even as he pilfered millions from FS members.
Thanks for standing up for Dr. P, and all his staff at FS...I could not agree more! Well said...
I've been a member at FS since 2004, and have taken multiple family and friends for training there...Always top notch, and in my time not one single negative experience to report!
So my thanks to Dr. P and his staff at FS...Sorry things did not work out as you planned...I wish you all well, and you have my respect...IMHO, you've done the thing you set out to do, restore respect for the 2nd A, and trained hundreds of thousands of Americans to the highest levels of competence with firearms...No mean feat!
Best of luck to PF as they take over a world class facility, built for them by a world class organization...
I couldn’t agree more. I always had great training, great instructors and met lots and lots of fellow Patriots. Sadly it’s the end of an era. Larry
I spoke with two of the Prairie Fire Founding members and I will say the conversation was enlightening.
That being said in the 2 hours of Conversation and after asking multiple times we were told that Dr. I was NOT going to be involved in any manner, 2 weeks later out comes the information that Prairie Fire will be paying a consulting fee for marketing assistance, business management information and for his specific knowledge of Front Sight. Seems a little strange to say the least, especially since the core group of Prairie Fire are former military where the core values should matter.
That being said we MIGHT give them a shot for a trip or two but I can guarantee that we will not be joining their memberships.
The two members we spoke to were Bill Wilson and Craig Kozenieski.
Well, Piazza screwed us all. And this new arrangement isnt going to benefit most of Front Sights members who were promised so much by that con man. I remember winning a Commander Membership many years ago and was excited that this was a "lifetime membership" willable to my heir, and over the years it just kept decreasing in value, increasing in non covered costs and I am ashamed that I gave out so many patriot memberships and even got suckered into a few extra contributions. I have $250,00 in front sight credits that are worthless (they have actually been worthless all along) and the people I shared memberships with are pissed off at me.
Piazza, (like most chiropractors) is a quack, who pathologicaly believed his own bullshit. He has been, and will always be a con man. I hope he loses everything and maybe will see fit to find a tall building to jump off of in the near future. But, he will likely crawl out from under a rock in a couple of years with some new snake oil to peddle.
What a total waste of my time, energy and money. Extremely disappointed is and understatement.
The hearing was supposed to be yesterday (Sept. 30).
Anything new on what's happening?
I spent $200 on my membership and took four classes so I got my money's worth. But the way we have been treated I would like my money back . Prairie Fire is wanting too much for me to have anything to do with them.
I already have a lifetime membership. Why would I pay this Prairie Fire extra money for services I don't need?
Where is Prariefire's (PF) Texas location? quick google search didn't show anything. Hopefully this is an established location and not "to-be-developed". Building a gun training institute HQ in a Blue State is not the wisest choice; you'll be paying bribes out the butt to keep the doors open LOL, and that will destroy you in the long run.
PF should give all existing Front Sight (FS) members a free 2-yr Nevada level membership. I believe that overwhelmingly 95% of current members are 'once a year trip' people (though they may stay for two weeks or longer in a single trip). The other 5% range from 2 to 30+ trips a year. Just make some money off the incidentals for this group for the 2-yr time period (e.g. meals, pro shop, armory customization/ repairs, ammo, etc). Giving a cheap token membership does not help your projected (hopeful) conversion rate. Give the best experience possible; otherwise you just cheat yourself (PF) the big money to save the small money.
I'm afraid that my purpose for going to front sight is going to be entirely lost in the new company I would go there to refresh my skills take classes that increased my tactical awareness and skills. I'm not into gamesmanship trophies and sport shooting and I don't see that the marketing plan is for anybody that other than people that want to play games and win trophies. My purpose was for documented training and to keep my skills current in support of my position in a church safety team. It appears that I will be able to fill those needs more affordably with a local trainer.
I’ve had many very good-to-excellent instructors over the years at Front Sight. Under the new restructuring (PrairieFire) what happens to these folks?
So let me get this straight...Piazza tried to 'restructure' on everyone with a $500 annual fee, $50 annual 'background check', and $75/day for a course (so a 4 day course would have cost $850) and got so much negative feedback, he backpedaled. Yet somehow this new group believes people will pay even MORE (best case of waived initiation and discounted daily fees: $500 annual fee and $250/day fee for 4 days of training coming out to $1,500)?
Wouldn't count on attracting many Front Sight members for that deal, and likely not too many new visitors with that business model. I like some of the ideas, but perhaps examining Front Sight's models of efficiency on the ranges might help to bring pricing down to a somewhat competitive business model vs. people just training close to home.
I'd like to know 1 thing, how long has Prarie Fire been in business?
We don't have the funds to pay $1,000 per day for training, so it's doubtful that we will be going any time soon. I'd venture to guess that the vast majority of FS members will make the same decision. Front Sight was one of my groups 18 total favorite places to meet and renew old friendships. My sons and grand kids well not be able to spend this much money as to this new membership crap. Great range instruction, lunch out in the desert, a week off work, dinner in Pahrump Nevada. We were glad to drive from Northern Utah for a four day course. But not sure anymore. $100.oo per day straight up for members... yes
I have mixed feelings about this:
First, I know that Dr. Piazza's plan was unsustainable, that Prairie Fire may not "owe" Front Sight members "anything", and I am certainly willing to pay more than we have been for equal training. That said, Prairie Fire would prove very wise to tend carefully to these previous members.
Secondly, I and my husband paid additional money to re-join with family memberships at Front Sight through Patriot Academy and brought friends and family down specifically for them to participate in the Constitutional Defense program. I truly hope this will be brought back.
Next, truly hope that there is a dedicated focus on training average citizens rather than primarily on competitive programs. There is a huge need for this. Most people cannot afford the time, money nor do they have the desire to be "elite" competitors. They want to be able to obtain top quality instruction that will allow them the skill and proper mindset to carry (protect their home and loved ones) safely and responsibly in their communities. As an instructor with USCCA, I have, and planned to continue to bring my students to Front Sight to continue their progression - However, at the proposed rates, I will necessarily seek other options.
Lastly, Though the Bio's appear impressive, as mentioned in another comment here, I can find NO information on courses offered by Prairie Fire to gain some understanding to vette what we would be "buying"- confusing and concerning.
I'm in a wait and see what shakes out posture.
Ah yes the privilege of "lifetime" membership. I gave up on those after the North American Hunting Club took me for a ride. Do they even exist any more?
I would be willing to give PF a try even though they are a bit pricey Im ok with that for now. The question I need answered is what does PF's instruction look like. I searched all over their sparse website and there is ZERO info on there about what courses are offered or what sort of instruction you can get. Don't assume that just because it says "Law Enforcement" instructors it means the instruction will be top notch. Most law enforcement don't get much instruction at all.
As far as I understand, they are still in the process of putting their team of instructors and classes together. The acquisition is not final yet and is still pending approval from the bankruptcy court. I imagine that if that goes through, more information will be released after that.
Sounds overpriced to me and I have concerns about the training as well. I am more interested in real defensive training than competition.
What about the existing staff as well? I had great experiences with the staff at Front Sight, most of whom were normal people. Frankly I don't buy into this whole "elite" crap. You don't need to be a "Special Operator" to be a good instructor. I always said that it didn't mater who you were or how long you had been shooting. You would leave Front Sight better than when you started.
I understand that if this goes through they will owe nothing to existing Front Sight members but frankly it seems like they are throwing a very small bone here. Obviously it will benefit them greatly to be able to say at the grand opening that they have 150,000 plus members. Is this their real reason for giving 2 years "free membership"?
I also recognize that they need money to operate so we will see. I may be willing to give it a chance as I am local but to get my money PF is going to have to step up a little more for existing members.
Excellent point: we always left Front Sight better than when we showed up
How is prairie fire going to know who spent over $20,000 dollars and an e-mail has changed How are they going to contact that person
In the filing, it says that anyone who feels they spent that amount can email them directly and request that level of membership.
I like what I hear so far, I’ll definitely give Prairefire a chance. I’m encouraged my current membership can be converted and not be wasted.
THE WHO - WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN.... Meet The New Boss Same As The Old Boss!
Don't know Bill Willson but this sounds the same gimmick. Its too expensive for me especially in these times.
I would rather have the county pick up the facilities and turn it into a shooting park with rentable bays. They can develop the property with RV camping and a resort if they choose.
Just spit balling here.... In-state and out-of-state instructors can hold classes and the student pays them directly with a fee going to the county. Or you can even have instructors and staff employed by the county and so they would get benefits.
The PF deal sounds to much for my wallet to make the drive and besides I dont want to get locked into something that sounds like a timeshare.
Id rather go to different courses taught by different instructors in my area or in the nation.
The pricing is way too high to pull in many students from even Las Vegas. We had 3 days with Rob Leatham and Larry Vickers for much less than 2 days here. Plus you have to have a membership on top of that. The former Front Sight will just turn into another curiosity of the desert, like the Zzyzx Mineral Spring Resort or Lake Dolores. What a shame Piazza was so greedy.
From 2009 - 2021 we spent 136 days at Front Sight. Over the years we spent ~ $10k-$12k on membership upgrades to help support the cause. In taking 50 courses in that time, we got our money's worth. That doesn't excuse the con man Piazza from his fraudulent business activities. We don't have the funds to pay $1,000 per day for training, so it's doubtful that we will be going there again. I'd venture to guess that the vast majority of FS members will make the same decision. Front Sight was one of my wife's favorite places on Earth, as well as mine. Neither of us were able to pass the Combat Master test, but we did get into the low 60s, so that puts us miles ahead of the average gun owner.
As a local it is easy enough to shoot at multiple places in the desert for free. For those who spent so much the Nevada tier is more reasonable with a 3 year suspension of fees. At least those folks can fly out here and experience the courses and the quality of the staff. I don't think any new business owner would willingly toss away 150,000 potential customers. I had a membership and was a respected Range Master, Medic and Dir of Martial Arts. A philosophical difference had me stripped of the position and membership. In a word, I loved teaching and was willing to swallow a lot to keep teaching.
10-4 John, thanks for a BUNCH of great classes.
Personally, I believe Prairie Fires prices are too high and will prohibit many from attending. Why pay more when you can go to Gunsite or Thunder Ranch which are both proven and excellent training facilities? Additionally, if you’re going to throw a bone to Front Sight members, give us a real membership for those 2 years that lets us get the full experience. Not access to 2 shooting ranges. Why would I travel to Nevada just to shoot on a range when I can do that for free at home?
Lots of competition for the training dollars that Prarie Fire will be vying for.
Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and for weekend operator wannabes, "Ghost Ring Tactical" New Mexico -all inclusive.
So is PF going to male it right with those of us that were banned for no reason other than speaking our opinions???
Hahahahahhahahahahahaha... sure. In abundance!
I hope someone from PF reads these questions and replys, because i was also banned for my opinions i assume. Frontsight does not reply to my numerous emails asking why i was banned. I just was.
i have the same question, as i was banned for no reason. Frontsight will not answer any of my emails
This is way too expensive! The court should not allow this transition to go forward without additional compensation to all the founding and Gold Status members for all the classes and memberships they have purchased from FrontSight.
That’s a risk you take with “lifetime” memberships. Front sight went bankrupt. PrairieFire has no obligation to honor any front sight contract.
What does “Unlimited access” to 2 ranges mean for the 150,000 FS members that PF will boast on day one?
The real question is conversion of the membership to paid status, access to 2 ranges ain’t gonna cut it!
From what I can understand, PF is under NO legal obligation to do anything for FS members and is offering this as a way to engender a little good will after we got totally shafted by Piazza. It's not much, but better than literally nothing which is what I was expecting.
It is NOTHING! It is meaningless.
If they were really trying to sell me a Puppy-dog, they would give me unconditionally my Frontsight member level, even if limited to 2 or better 5 years. That would provide the opportunity for a once or twice visit to experience the full capabilities of PF.
Spending travel time, costs, per diem, ammo, background checks to play on 2 ranges - that is in terms that all of FS members know, BS in abundance!
Yeah, it certainly amounts to nothing for anyone not local to Pahrump. As for me, since I live only an hour away, I look at it as free range time for a couple of years.
Dr. Piazza has succeeded in creating so much bad blood for himself and Front Sight that there is an astonishing number of Front Sight members who claim to want nothing to do with this new venture. I hope that PrairieFire has taken this animus into account, and has a plan that will bring them success despite all the current ill will. From the sound of it, they will be spending a ton of money -- both in the initial purchase and in subsequent improvements -- so they will need deep pockets to make this a lasting success.
"This newly developed system allows users to download a target, take it to the range, shoot two courses of fire at set yardage, and then upload their target for review. A mathematical score will be assigned, and shooters can see how they rank among other shooters."
So basically it's the same thing as the Mantis Laser Academy?
Has there been absolutely no representation for FS members.
Seems as though the 7 million being paid to piazza should go to members who financed the whole thing.
Seams as though a class action suit is in order.
Right on, Mr. Whitesell. I join with a few other voices as one who didn't even know that this restructure had been going on. I had not heard anything from Piazza for several years because I criticized him in an email. PF is serving NO justice to all the FS members who have ended up holding an empty cup. They pick up the facility, keep Piazza on the payroll and offer FS members... nothing.